Brian Williams Repeats Lies Blaming Trump for Increased Poisonings

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Friday's The 11th Hour show, MSNBC host Brian Williams displayed his propensity to misinform his audience -- in addition to his hatred for Donald Trump -- as he closed the show marking the one-year anniversary of President Trump making a confused suggestion that doctors might treat COVID patients by injecting "disinfectants."

Accusing President Trump of "rank stupidity and incompetence," Williams also repeated claims that there was an increase in people being poisoned by disinfectants after President Trump's comments when, in fact, this false claim was debunked a year ago. Williams introduced the segment:

Last thing before we go tonight -- while reasonable people may disagree, what happened a year ago today is one of the low points of the Trump presidency. And, while that's saying a lot, it was certainly among the low points of the failure to protect the American people from a raging pandemic. Here is what happened in the White House briefing room that day, a year ago today. As you watch, please remember the President later said he was being sarcastic. You can be the judge of that as we watch what was a jaw-dropping moment for a nation looking for leadership and not malpractice.

Then came a clip from the April 23, 2020 White House briefing in which President Trump reacted to a presentation by Homeland Security's Dr. Williams Bryan. The President was apparently confused about what the word "disinfectants" referred to, and seemed to think doctors had already tried injecting "disinfectants" of some kind into people's lungs to see how it would effect the COVID-19 virus. He then speculated about the possibility that doctors might be able to treat COVID patients with such injections.

After the clip, Williams repeated claims that Trump's comments had led to an increase in people being poisoned with disinfectants:

The death toll on that day was just under 50,000. We've since lost over half a million -- again, since that day.  And after that day from the CDC to Clorox to Lysol, companies, organizations were forced to issue statements warning folks not to ingest such chemicals. Nevertheless, there was later a rise in calls to poison control hotlines, poisoned patients showing up in emergency rooms.

In fact, it was pointed out at the time by Reason magazine that the increase in people being poisoned with disinfectants started in March as Americans reacted to the pandemic by using more disinfectants, and not people poisoning themselves because of President Trump.

Williams then further excoriated President Trump and Dr. Deborah Birx:

And lest we forget, Dr. Birx sat there. In fact, it's rather remarkable, looking back on it, that "pulling a Birx" or "Birxing" haven't since entered our lexicon as terms meaning "to remain quiet in the face of malpractice and mass death." It really took a village to watch and listen to the rank stupidity and incompetence that took so many lives, but, as we just saw, it's important to remember it started at the top.

This latest fact-challenged episode of The 11th Hour with Brian Williams was sponsored in part by 4Imprint. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows

MSNBC

The 11th Hour

April 23, 2021

11:57 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight -- while reasonable people may disagree, what happened a year ago today is one of the low points of the Trump presidency. And, while that's saying a lot, it was certainly among the low points of the failure to protect the American people from a raging pandemic. Here is what happened in the White House briefing room that day, a year ago today. As you watch, please remember the President later said he was being sarcastic. You can be the judge of that as we watch what was a jaw-dropping moment for a nation looking for leadership and not malpractice.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP  (from April 23, 2020): -- a question that some of you are probably thinking if you're totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous -- whether it's ultraviolent or just powerful light -- and I think you said that hasn't been checked, but you're going to test it.

And then I said, "Supposing you brought the light inside the body?" which you could do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you're going to test that, too. Sounds interesting.

And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute -- one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that, so that -- you're going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me. So we'll see, but the whole concept of the light and the way it kills it in one minute, that's pretty powerful.

WILLIAMS: "Almost a cleaning." The death toll on that day was just under 50,000. We've since lost over half a million -- again, since that day.  And after that day from the CDC to Clorox to Lysol, companies, organizations were forced to issue statements warning folks not to ingest such chemicals. Nevertheless, there was later a rise in calls to poison control hotlines, poisoned patients showing up in emergency rooms.

And lest we forget, Dr. Birx sat there. In fact, it's rather remarkable, looking back on it, that "pulling a Birx" or "Birxing" haven't since entered our lexicon as terms meaning "to remain quiet in the face of malpractice and mass death." It really took a village to watch and listen to the rank stupidity and incompetence that took so many lives, but, as we just saw, it's important to remember it started at the top.

That's our broadcast for this Friday night and for this week.

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